Healthy Living in Connecticut Blog

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I'm In A 30 Day Plank Challenge... Tightening the Abs!

At the beginning of the month, I decided to do a 30 day plank challenge. The goal is by the end of the month to hold a plank for 5 minutes. For those that aren't familiar with the plank, the basic plank exercise is a way to improve core strength and stability. You begin in a plank position with your forearms and toes on the floor while your torso is straight. The body in a straight line with no sagging. The abs are being held in as if they are waiting for a punch.

It's difficult to hold the position for a long time because you are really engaging your abs. The longest I've gone is three minutes non stop. I want to get to five minutes because I think it will further strengthen my core and tighten my abs. It won't be easy, but my hope is by the end of the challenge, I'll get to five minutes.

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Strength Training Update: Muscle Increase, Fat Loss!

Today, I saw my personal trainer for the first time in a month. What a difference from last month’s numbers! My trainer measured my body fat with an instrument called the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, and that number came down two percentage points since last month, and it read 16.5!!!

He then used the calipers and after measuring my legs, chest and abs, my total body fat percentage was now 10.6! 10.6... I can't believe it, I'm so close to my goal!

I have been working incredibly hard but I have a ton of energy. My muscle is definitely increasing and the numbers reflect that. My abs, at least to me, have tightened a great deal since last year. I asked my doctor about how much they will tighten and he's not sure if they will tighten further. If they don't, I am so happy with the results anyway. If they do continue to tighten as I stay within ten percent, even better. I know it's worth it as I feel stronger than ever and have lots of energy.

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Can You Believe I Once Fit Into These Pants?

You know you've accomplished something when you have to buy new clothes!

I kept a few pairs of my size 44 pants, just as a reminder of how obese I really was just a few short years ago. To put it in perspective, I went from size 44 waist down to size 34.

It seems hard to believe that at one time I actually fit into these pants. Some of the shirts I've saved went half way down my legs, many being XXL. Now medium shirts fit me... I never thought I would fit into a medium.

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A Week Without Cardio... Concentrating On Lifting Weights!

I love doing cardio! After all, the treadmill helped me lose most of my weight. I've been trying to cut down on cardio but this week has really been different. I did not use the treadmill for a whole week. I don't want to keep losing weight... I'm so active that it seems like by using the treadmill, I would keep losing weight.

I still get my steps in. According to my pedometer, I do get well over 10,000 steps each day. So what do I need to use the treadmill for when I'm already active enough? I'm focusing on my muscle and I think the results are getting more noticeable each day. Also, I did run for 5 minutes yesterday around a track as a warmup.

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Litchfield Hills Road Race... The AFTER

Well, I did it. I finished in an upright position,  didn't finish last and I didn't "hurl" at the finish line!! These three things are important to me when I'm in a race. (Ok it's not really, but it is on my mind)

As I mentioned in a previous blog, this was my third LHRR. I experienced the  hottest sun I've ever felt while running. I ran the first 3 1/2 miles at my normal 15 minute mile; I was feeling good. Thankfully I was still running when the other runners were passing me, (since they all ran three times faster than me). For a split second I was embarrassed ~ but in true runner fashion, the high fives, shout outs, and thumbs up from those passing me by gave me the push I needed to keep going. Runners are courteous, kind, supportive and only in competition with themselves ~ my size didn't matter, my speed, or lack of, didn't matter, my being four to five miles behind them didn't matter. All that mattered to them was I was there; giving it my all. I embraced not only the shout outs and high fives of the other runners, but the spectators as well.

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